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What it measures:

The UCSD-SOBQ is a self-report questionnaire that measures severity of shortness of breath/dyspnea during various activities of daily living (ADLs) in patients with various forms of lung pathology. (1)


A previous version of the UCSD-SOBQ included a "not applicable (N/A)" category and asked about frequency of dyspnea experienced by participants during certain ADLs. The updated version removed the N/A category and instead asks the patient to estimate the level of dyspnea experienced with those ADLs. Exclusion of the N/A category was incorporated to limit the frequency of missing data. An additional update included asking participants to rate severity of dyspnea with activity instead of frequency of dyspnea with activity. This revision made the questionnaire easier to complete and understand for the participants. (2)

Target Population:

This summary contains information on use of this test in patients or participants with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), (3-6) pulmonary embolism (PE), (7) idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), (8) interstitial lung disease (ILD), (9) emphysema, (10,11) pulmonary fibrosis (PF), (12) and other pulmonary conditions. This summary includes information only about the revised UCSD-SOBQ.

Taskforce Recommendations

The task force recommends using the UCSD-SOBQ as a measure of aerobic capacity in individuals with chronic disease or disability. (20)

Clinical Insights

The UCSD-SOBQ is a valuable, easy to administer self-report questionnaire that should be utilized in patients with various forms of lung disease (moderate to severe). It can be used in any setting. A barrier to using the UCSD-SOBQ would be in the presence of memory/cognitive impairments. (2)

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